Skip to Content

What fruits help reduce bruising?

Bruising is a common minor injury that occurs when small blood vessels under the skin rupture, allowing blood to pool and cause discoloration. Some fruits contain beneficial compounds that may help reduce bruising and promote healing when applied topically to bruised skin. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best fruits to use for bruises and explain how their nutrients work.

What causes bruising?

A bruise forms when a bump or blow causes damage to capillary blood vessels under the skin. Blood leaks out of the damaged vessels and pools near the skin’s surface, creating the characteristic black-and-blue discoloration. The pooled blood eventually gets reabsorbed by the body, and the bruise fades over time as the blood gets broken down.

Certain factors can make people more prone to bruising easily, including:

  • Older age – fragile capillaries and thinner skin increases bruising risk in older adults
  • Blood thinners or anti-platelet medications – these reduce blood clotting ability
  • Deficiency in vitamin C, vitamin K, or bioflavonoids – important micronutrients for collagen production
  • Genetic disorders such as hemophilia or von Willebrand disease – impair blood clotting

While bruises cannot be prevented altogether, eating a diet rich in certain vitamins and minerals may help strengthen blood vessels and reduce bruising frequency.

How can fruits help with bruises?

Many fruits contain beneficial plant compounds that can aid bruise healing and recovery when applied topically. Some of the most effective fruits include:


Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain helps reduce bruise swelling, tenderness, and pain. It also helps break down the blood pooled under the skin to help clear bruises more quickly.


Like pineapples, papayas are an excellent source of bromelain. Papaya pulp or gel can be applied directly to the skin surface to diminish the appearance of bruises.


Oranges are packed with vitamin C, an essential nutrient for collagen production. Collagen provides structural support to blood vessels. Getting enough vitamin C helps strengthen capillaries and prevent easy bruising.


Strawberries contain salicylic acid, which has natural anti-inflammatory abilities similar to aspirin. Applying mashed strawberries can minimize bruise swelling, pain, and inflammation.


Apples have a high concentration of vitamin C, vitamin K, and polyphenols like quercetin. These nutrients help stabilize collagen and promote blood clotting. Apple cider vinegar may also help bruises heal faster.


Blueberries are loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. The antioxidants neutralize free radicals to minimize tissue damage, while the anti-inflammatories curb swelling and discoloration.


Cherries contain high amounts of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory pigments that give cherries their deep red color. Anthocyanins may help restrict blood leakage and clear discoloration.


Like cherries, pomegranates are brimming with anthocyanins. They also contain ellagic acid, which promotes collagen production. These compounds make pomegranate an ideal fruit to help strengthen blood vessels and heal bruises.

How do the nutrients in these fruits reduce bruising?

The beneficial compounds in the fruits mentioned above work through several mechanisms to minimize bruising:

  • Vitamin C – This strengthens collagen in blood vessel walls.
  • Vitamin K – This assists with proper blood clotting at the site of injury.
  • Bromelain – The enzyme reduces inflammation and helps break down trapped blood.
  • Anthocyanins – These plant pigments curb inflammation and help remove blood pooling under the skin.
  • Salicylic acid – This compound decreases swelling, pain, and inflammation.
  • Polyphenols – These antioxidants neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and minimize tissue injury.

The combined effects of these nutrients help stabilize blood vessels, reduce bleeding and inflammation, and assist with clearing out damaged blood cells – all of which speed up bruise healing.

How to use fruits topically to treat bruises

It’s simple to prepare DIY fruit treatments to apply to bruised skin:

  • Pineapple/papaya – Mash flesh and apply directly or blend into a paste.
  • Berries – Crush to extract juice and apply generously to bruises.
  • Oranges/apples – Use fresh juice and soak a cloth to hold against the skin.
  • Cherries/pomegranates – Puree fruit and smooth onto bruised area.

Apply fruit treatments a few times per day for 15-20 minutes each. The nutrients will get absorbed into the skin to accelerate healing. Combining different fruits can provide even greater benefits.

Healing mechanism summary

Here is a summary of the main healing mechanisms of fruit nutrients that help treat bruises when applied topically:

Fruit Nutrient Healing Mechanism
Vitamin C Strengthens collagen in blood vessel walls
Vitamin K Assists blood clotting at site of vessel injury
Bromelain Reduces inflammation and clears trapped blood
Anthocyanins Curb inflammation and remove pooled blood
Salicylic acid Decreases swelling, pain, and inflammation
Polyphenols Neutralize free radicals to minimize tissue injury

Other evidence-based tips for bruise healing

In addition to using fruit treatments, here are some other remedies to help speed up bruise recovery:

  • Cold compress – Applying a cold pack can help restrict blood vessel leakage and reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Arnica – Arnica creams made from this medicinal plant are effective at treating bruise swelling and discoloration.
  • Bromelain supplement – Oral bromelain tablets provide anti-inflammatory benefits from inside the body.
  • Turmeric – Turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that reduces bruise inflammation.
  • Onion – Raw onion can help break up pooled blood when applied topically.
  • Comfrey – Comfrey ointments contain allantoin, which stimulates new skin cell growth.

Avoid vigorous massage, hot compresses, and NSAIDs like ibuprofen, as these can worsen bruising. Get adequate rest and stay hydrated to support overall healing.

The bottom line

Applying fruits like pineapples, papayas, oranges, strawberries, apples, blueberries, cherries, and pomegranates can provide natural relief for bruises. The vitamins, enzymes, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds in these fruits help stabilize blood vessels, curb inflammation, clear trapped blood, and minimize tissue injury. Combining the topical application of fruit treatments with other remedies like cold compresses, arnica, bromelain supplements, and turmeric can promote even faster bruise healing.